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Mobile gamers more social than non-gamers: study

Mobile gamers are very social—and very valuable to brands and publishers, according to a MocoSpace survey of 10,000 smartphone users of its mobile social network.

The company reported that gamers are actually more social than non-gamers on the network. The results showed that social gamers have nearly three times more friends and spend three times as long on the site as the non-gamers.

“The main takeaway is that games are becoming a pervasive means of socializing on mobile today,” said Justin Siegel, cofounder/CEO of MocoSpace, Boston. “Historically speaking, games have always been a core aspect of being social whether its sports, cards or gambling.

“Conventional wisdom is that games in the digital space are anti-social, but that’s clearly not the case” he said. “What’s driving this move is the primacy of the mobile phone as a means of communication and discovery.

“This signals a big trend for publishers and advertisers – many of whom probably aren’t aware that social gamers are 280 percent more social than the average social networking consumer.”

MocoSpace claims to have more than 18 million registered users averaging more than 1 million hours a day of games, music and social activity.

MocoSpace social gaming study
The March study found that the average time spent on the MocoSpace mobile site for social gamers is 141 minutes, compared to 45 minutes for non-gamers.

Social gamers had an average of 50 friends each, while non-gamers had an average of only 18, almost a three-fold difference, per MocoSpace.

Gamers outpaced non-gamers when it comes to taking photos with their phone—mobile gamers upload twice as many photos per day, according to the study.

MocoSpace’s research supports that notion that the fastest-growing consumer segments on the mobile Web are social gamers.

Now that many of these gamers have smartphones, MocoSpace expects smartphones to become the next frontier for social gaming.

Mr. Siegel said that the study validated his company’s decision to prioritize games over user-generated content as a means for engaging with other members on MocoSpace.

The MocoSpace Games Platform launched in October 2010.

The company has since launched a number of in-house and third-party games, which it claims generate more than 3 million minutes a day of activity on the mobile site.

By the end of the year, MocoSpace plans to give advertisers access to the game-related inventory.

That begs the question: Is ad-support, pay-per-download, subscriptions or micropayments the most effective monetization model for mobile games?

“The short answer is that micro-transactions are where it’s at right now,” Mr. Siegel said. “However, I don’t think there’s a one-size-fits-all approach.

“Different games will work well with different monetization models,” he said.

Final Take